Sunday, 5 September 2021

September Already?

 September already and the beginning of Autumn.  How did that happen? This year, the same as last, has flown by in a flurry of inactivity!  The only exercise I have been getting is at the allotment (thank God we have it) and it has provided us with a fair selection of veg as well as apples and raspberries.  I haven't bought any potatoes for a couple of months now either....

There are still runner beans aplenty, 5 potato plants still to unearth, and we are trying to grow sprouts.  They look a bit feeble at the moment but time will tell.  Our leeks were a disaster.  They grew to an impressive size then showed signs of distress as white mould set in and they had to be pulled up and destroyed, so not even any use for the compost heap ๐Ÿ˜ญ  We have picked a fair number of apples; both cooking and dessert varieties but a high proportion of both have been nibbled and spoilt on the trees.  Ah well, we can say we have shared with nature.

September also sees the children back at school ( I can hear the collective sighs of relief from all the mums out there!) Our Granddaughter turned 17 a few days ago ( how did THAT happen too?) and all through the Summer holiday she has been applying for jobs without success.  It's not easy now either, with video interviews, online applications etc but she has really tried her best with absolutely no luck whatsoever.  She is going back to 6th form in the hope that things will improve in a year or two.  Our Grandson turned 14 at the end of July and is growing so fast.  He's now taller than me! and is a lovely caring lad.  He doesn't really like school after all the disruption of the last year as he is dyslexic and finds home schooling difficult.  Fingers crossed there will be some semblance of normality this Autumn term.

A BIG thank you to everyone who left kind and sympathetic comments on my last post for my Brother and his wife, V.  They were quite poorly for a while with headaches, runny noses, coughs and tightness in the chest but are both now out of isolation and have been told that they are considered immune to the virus now for at least 90 days. I'm still wearing a mask in certain settings and just getting on with things.  I don't subscribe to the conspiracy theories either.  Covid is what it is and the pointing of fingers of blame and conspiracy to control just don't cut the mustard.

Anyway, it's a beautifully sunny Sunday and I must do the ironing before it gets too hot to do it.

Enjoy your day wherever you happen to be in the world. Stay safe x

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

Covid-19 Hasn't Gone Away....

I had a shock call from my Brother yesterday.  On Saturday he and his wife did their lateral flow tests and both were negative.  On Sunday his wife felt off colour, tired and developed a cough so on Monday they did another test; his was negative, V's was positive so they went to a drive through test centre for a PCR test.  She definitely has Covid, despite being double jabbed and extra careful.  My Brother's PCR test was void so he had to go for another drive through test yesterday....still awaiting results of that one.  They  have both been extra careful with contact, hygiene, social distancing etc, and they still wear masks when in enclosed spaces, especially as V is 76 yrs old and not in the best of health.  The only places they have been to is for food shopping so I feel she has been so very unlucky.  At the moment she is in self isolation in the house.  She is sleeping on the sofa downstairs, using a separate loo and preparing her own meals in order to keep contact with my Brother to a minimum.  Poor V.

PLEASE everyone....don't take any chances with your health.

Stay safe wherever in the world you happen to be x


My Brother has tested positive too ๐Ÿค’๐Ÿ˜ท๐Ÿ˜ช

Saturday, 21 August 2021

What to do on a cold, wet Saturday in August


I awoke to drizzle and, with the promise of a wet, miserable day ahead, decided to crack on with something productive..

I didn't sleep well last night for worrying that our move will not be happening.  It seems that the only thing outstanding is from the management company of our current home who are simply not replying to emails from our solicitor and so are effectively blocking the sale.  I have to forget it and hope that the solicitor can sort it out eventually.

Anyway, after a leisurely breakfast of muesli, fruit and yogurt I hopped into the car and drove to our local M&S for some easy ready meals as I'm totally fed up with cooking.  Just over £16 spend has put 5 ready meals in the fridge as well as a box of cookies which our Granddaughter loves.  It will be her birthday on 1st September so I  will give her those along with some money in her card envelope.

The breadmaker is on, producing a lovely crusty loaf for tea......

My hair is feeling messy and in need of a cut.  I rang the posh looking salon down the road and they can fit me in on Monday afternoon.  Perhaps a new haircut will give me the mental boost I need.

Half an hour left before G comes back from work so time for this....

Tomorrow there is an antiques fair at Himley Hall from 9am to 4pm.  Weather permitting, I'll be having a wander round there.  It costs £2 to park and £2 entry fee to the fair but it's in the open air so should be quite safe.  I  can take a flask and a sandwich.  I LOVE antiques fairs ๐Ÿฅฐ

What are you doing this weekend?

Stay safe everyone x

Friday, 13 August 2021

Food On The Cheap, Bungalow Update & Eating Fresh,

 Since my lack of success with the 'Magic Bags' a while ago, I haven't managed to get one at all.  They either fly out as soon as released or are too far or too late in the day for me to pick up.  DD has got the Greggs ones down to a fine art!  She has managed to get 3 over the last few weeks.  The latest one shown above contained:

Ham & Cheese baguette
Tuna crunch pasta
4 sausage rolls
4 doughnuts 
2 Gingerbreads

All for £2.59 (RRP £8)

And the previous haul contained a lovely fresh sliced bloomer loaf .  Success!

This last week has been a bit mundane for us,  just catching up with jobs and chasing, chasing, chasing progress.....

Bungalow Update:

Why is everything such a struggle lately?   I got so frustrated with lack of information, poor communication from all concerned, as well as being unable to speak to a 'real' person, that I got stuck in and 'kicked ass' as they say!  I spent most of 2 days on the telephone, insisting on speaking to someone in authority each time until I got a call from a man who knew what he was talking about!  He chased everything up from his end regarding the purchase of the bungalow and emailed me all the legal stuff in pdf files which I promptly forwarded to our solicitor.  He now has everything required to process the purchase.  We are now waiting on the local searches for the sale of our current home which have a backlog of months by the sound of it.  Then we should be ready to go.  I feel rather like ' I bought a dog and have to bark myself ' as far as the solicitor goes.  Which begs the question "why am I paying him so much?"  Fingers crossed that things will start moving now....

Allotment News:

Our Grandson, K, helped us out again on Tuesday by climbing a ladder placed against the Bramley apple tree.  So many windfalls were depleting the harvest and the last few were big apples which had fallen and been spoilt.  K enjoyed the adventure of climbing the tree for the best fruit!  Any which didn't come away easily were left for another day.  The harvest totalled over 20lbs of fruit ๐Ÿ˜€ I processed any which were blemished, zapping them in the microwave with a spoonful of sugar and freezing in batches for future crumbles.  The rest were shared with DD, my brother and our storeroom ๐Ÿ˜†

We have picked in the last week :

Sweetcorn cobs (3)
Runner beans
Calabrese (4 decent size heads)
Bramley apples

G has sown lettuce and spring onions this week.

A big welcome to my new followers Anjie & Barbara....Hello!  Glad to have you aboard.

That's all for now. Stay safe wherever in the world you happen to be x

Wednesday, 4 August 2021

From Fork to Plate in 4 Hours

We had a fabulous day yesterday.  G and I went to the allotment and our daughter and the two grandchildren joined us.  I wanted to dig up a whole row of potatoes so that I could more easily reach the back of the row of  runner beans. Our grandson K had his 14th birthday last Thursday and is much stronger than me (which isn't difficult!) So he willingly got stuck in digging them up with a fork, whilst his sister G bagged them up and collected the leaves for the compost.  He didn't spear a single one, unlike me, I usually spoil at least 2 or3.  G once managed to spear 3 beauties on the fork in one go so he's been banned from digging them up ever since!  This meant that I could harvest the runner beans at the back before they went over. We pulled up the pea plants, removing any edible bits before putting them on the compost too.

The giant onions are growing so big that one or two are actually touching which isn't what we want so I harvested 3 to make space.  Onions can be eaten at any point in their growth so I kept one and gave our daughter the other two.  This is the smallest of the three...

We spotted a tiny visitor in amongst the leeks and onions.  There are plenty of slugs and snails for him to get through......

Our lovely allotment neighbour gave us 4 beetroot to try.  As soon as I got home I boiled and skinned my 2.  They were delicious and have been added to salads and a sandwich......

 I took hot and cold drinks for us, as well as soap and water for hand washing, so we paused for lunch and bought chip shop chips to share ๐Ÿ˜œ followed by freshly picked raspberries . It was the most exciting day out that I've had for months!

DD took home some carrots, runner beans, peas and potatoes as well as a couple of corn cobs.  She cooked them, ate a plateful of veg with gravy and kept a corn cob back for later after taking her son to football training.  When she got home her hubby had eaten it (even though he swears he 'doesn't like' corn  ๐Ÿ™„) so she never got to try it.  It was deliciously sweet and tender served with a small knob of butter.....

I'll pick some more for her next time we go. She did take home 3 carrier bags full of potatoes which she will share with her Sister-in-Law and her neighbours.

Food Shortages:

Sainsburys has just delivered the food shopping and each week lately there are out of stock items and substitutions; 4 out of stock and 4 subs this week alone.  It means we are 3 meals short on the food planner for the next 7 days.  On the rare occasions I nip into Morrisons for a forgotten item I notice empty shelves everywhere. I do commend the supermarkets for pulling out all the stops to keep the deliveries flowing.  It must be tough at the moment.

How are food supplies where you are?

I'm especially grateful for the veg at the allotment.  
Coming soon:

Bramley apples
Russet? dessert apples

Still harvesting:

Runner beans
French beans

Luckily, there was a small piece of steak in the shopping so G can have that tonight with roast potatoes, roast parsnip, carrots, and runner beans.  I think I'll just have a big plate of veg like DD did but with home grown mint sauce ๐Ÿ˜€

Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x

Saturday, 31 July 2021

'Free' Food


I roasted the cherry tomatoes as suggested and, after removing the skins, froze them to use later on pasta or pizza.  The Tumbling Tom plants have now been emptied out of the hanging basket and put on the compost heap at the allotment.   Nothing has been wasted. 

From the allotment we have been eating:

Potatoes (we still have enough to feed the whole village!)

French beans

Runner beans

Spring onions


Unfortunately,  the last 3 cabbages bolted in the heat so were chopped up and added to the compost.

The Mammoth onions are becoming enormous. The one in the photo is one of the smaller ones! G seems to have a 'thing' about gi-normous onions ever since he won first prize at the village show ๐Ÿ™„ One single onion lasts us about a week and we have a whole raised bed full .  Heaven knows what we will do with them all ๐Ÿค”

We have 9 healthy looking sweetcorn plants but I have no idea when the corn will be ready to pick.  Any suggestions from Gardeners out there will be very welcome.....

I intended to go to the allotment this morning to pick runner beans for my best friend but it's now raining heavily so I might have to bide my time and go this afternoon instead. At least I won't have to go and water the plants.

What do you have planned for the weekend?

Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x 

Monday, 26 July 2021

Completely Confused....

Yesterday I decided that my blog needed refreshing with cool colours and a new profile.  Not So Simple!

I'm hopeless with technology and don't find using Blogger easy at all, so if I shocked you at some point with a massive photo of me I sincerely apologise.  No one should have that inflicted on them without warning!  I will carry on experimenting so now you have been warned ๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜…......

Nothing else to report except...STILL no rain for us here, although it's decidedly cooler which is much more conducive to a good night's sleep.

How is the weather where you are?

Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x

Sunday, 18 July 2021

Tumbling Toms and An Update

 This morning is promising to turn into another hot and beautiful day for sunlovers with 31 degrees forecast.  It will be a bit too hot for me so I'll be either sitting in the shade or inside the house with the fan on!

The update is about our potential move.  We sold our house within a week to first time buyers and have found a bungalow we like in a lovely quiet setting with no upward chain. Simple ....or so we thought ๐Ÿค” 6 weeks later our buyers are struggling to get their mortgage sorted and we are in danger of losing the bungalow. I'm wondering whether to put ours back on the market quickly. What do you think?

Our Tumbling Tom tomatoes look lovely....

But they are dry and tasteless, despite regular watering and feeding....

Any suggestions what I can do with them? Is it worth roasting  them do you think? There are loads more on the plants and I'm loathe to waste them.  Suggestions welcome please!

On the allotment we have been harvesting:

Potatoes (Colleen)

Broad beans (horrible blackfly but tasty beans)


Runner beans (our first 6 beans ๐Ÿ˜‹)



Spring onions


And we swapped potatoes for some delicious raspberries with our allotment neighbour, who is a lovely chap.

Its going to be hard work watering in this hot weather but we love sharing our produce with our daughter, my brother and several lovely neighbours who we are seeing a little more of with the imminent easing of restrictions.  From tomorrow masks and social distancing will not be required but we will not be ditching ours anytime soon.  Will you?

We've both done our lateral flow tests this morning (negative) and our daughter and the family are doing theirs too so we are going over there this afternoon for a barbie ๐Ÿ˜€ 

Enjoy your day wherever in the world you happen to be. Stay well x

Saturday, 26 June 2021

Pulling Up My Big Girl Knickers

 Thank you to everyone for your lovely supportive comments on my last post. I have now deleted it because I don't want it to be part of my diary. I want to be hopeful not hopeless ๐Ÿ‘

Poor G's health has taken a downward spiral over the last 18 months and he is finding that stairs are not the ideal thing to cope with so we are, hopefully, moving to a bungalow. As I have a lot to sort out (yes, me... G leaves all paperwork and phone calls to me ๐Ÿ˜ณ) I will be taking a blogging break. I'll still be lurking, reading other blogs and commenting though.

Until then, take care and stay safe wherever in the world you happen to be x

Wednesday, 26 May 2021

A Touch of Magic!

I can't remember who pointed me in the right direction ( I have tried to back track to find out, to no avail) but I downloaded the Too Good to Go app and this morning found a Magic Bag on offer at the Spar supermarket not too far away.  I am excited!  There is supposed to be a bag containing £10 worth of food for the princely sum of £3.09 which I can collect after 7pm tonight.  I wonder what it will contain?  There could be fruit, veg, meat, fish etc but it's a lucky dip.  All will be past the sell by/use by date so I'll let you know in a post tomorrow what I get.  Meanwhile a big 'thank you' to whoever shared the information in the first place.

Watch this space!

Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x

EDIT: I have just found the information on Marlene's blog PoppyPatchwork.  Thank you Marlene.

SECOND EDIT: I had only just come off the computer when I received a text to say that my order has been cancelled because the supermarket doesn't have enough surplus food to fulfill the order. My payment via PayPal has been refunded but I am gutted......

I think I'll just shut up shall I..... ๐Ÿค

Sunday, 23 May 2021

Home Grown Produce

What an awful week its been weather wise; too much rain and not enough sun with low overnight temperatures thrown in.   A few weeks ago the apple trees were covered in lush blossom like this...

The blossom has all disappeared, hastened by the wind and rain, but I can see that apples have set so I'm still hoping for a decent crop of fruit.
We still have plenty of rhubarb and are eating crumbles and stewed fruit on a regular basis.....

Yesterday I popped to the allotment between showers to thin the lettuces out.  The tiny ones weeded out were shared with my brother and mine were eaten for lunch.  They were crisp, uber fresh and utterly delicious ๐Ÿ˜‹ 

As I'm on a mission to save a little money out of the food budget, I wasn't best pleased to come downstairs  this morning after G had gone to work to find this....๐Ÿคจ


Why on earth make a mug of tea with milk and sugar if you don't actually drink it?  I would have drunk it myself had it not been lukewarm.  Good grief....

Anyway that's all for now. Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x 

Sunday, 16 May 2021

Rain, Rain And More Rain


The last 10 days have been pretty boring (apart from the parties next door) with lots and lots of rain interspersed with weak sunshine.  It has done the garden and allotment a power of good and everything has put on enormous growth spurts.  From the allotment, we have been picking lots of rhubarb for crumbles, distributing a share to our daughter, my brother, and a lovely neighbour and our first radishes have been pulled and eaten.  They were delicious 'Breakfast Radishes'; not too hot but very crunchy and tasty so we have sowed more seed in the raised bed.   Although we had grease banded the apple trees earlier on I decided to try a tip from someone and apply a thick ring of vaseline below the grease band to try to deter the earwigs which spoiled a lot of the Bramley cooking apples last year.  I don't know if it will work but it's worth a try.  I dare say I will have to replenish it every couple of weeks but I have a BIG jar of the stuff ๐Ÿ˜€

The 'first early' potatoes have been earthed up 3 times so are doing really well and the 'second earlies' are showing the first bit of growth.

The photo above shows the tiny Canada Goose goslings which we came across when we went for a walk in the park last week.  They were drinking from and paddling in a dirty puddle watched over by some adult geese.  We counted 12 and they were so sweet ๐Ÿ˜Š

Next week is going to be just as unexciting, I think, because more rain is forecast for the whole week and we have our Pneumonia jabs to look forward to on Monday ๐Ÿ‘€  I feel a bit like a pin cushion.  That will be my 5th jab in just a few months.  Ah well, needs must.......

I'm off to the shower now and will have to try to decide what we are having for tea tonight.  There's not much in the fridge/freezer right now .......

Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x

Thursday, 6 May 2021

Thanks So Much

 Thank you all for your helpful and supportive comments on my last post.  You have helped me to come to a decision.  I plucked up the courage to ring the police and the officer was so calming and helpful and I've filed a complaint.  He did tell me that they attended that address at some point last week so someone else has reported her too and they would have attended on Sunday after my online Covid rule- breaking report on Sunday/Monday but had another issue to deal with and couldn't respond.   I also managed to speak to the lady who lives directly opposite the problem house and she has seen even more than me, having a birds eye view, as it were. She says that she commented to her husband that she didn't know how we put up with it.  She is happy to support my complaint if I contact the council and apparently the police attended the house sometime in March too, which I didn't know about.  Young Neighbour is skating on thin ice, I think.

This will be the last downbeat post, I promise.  

My next post will be brighter (if I can prop my eyelids open long enough to type one!) ๐Ÿ‘€

Stay safe everyone, wherever in the world you happen to be x

Monday, 3 May 2021

Neighbour From Hell Bullies Again

 Please excuse any poor grammar, punctuation or spelling today.  I am knackered ๐Ÿ˜ด 

A week ago young neighbour had yet another party ,totally ignoring rules and keeping us awake until the early hours yet again.  The next day I tried to speak to her but she ignored my knocks on the door so I wrote a polite note asking her to please be aware of noise levels when she next had visitors because G had to be up at 7am for work.  She ignored it.

Yesterday afternoon visitors began to arrive in taxis and cars at 4.30pm. Great...I we go. At 5.30pm a minibus pulled up and 6 girls piled out of the house and into the vehicle.  Yippee! They were going out! By 10.30pm they were back; roaring drunk and LOUD.  Immediately the pounding dance music was turned on and there were screams, shouting and bang after bang of the doors.  We waited patiently until midnight before trying to sleep through it but couldn't.  When I could stand it no longer, I filled in the online form on my phone to report Covid rule breaking.  Yet another car pulled up at 1.30am but no response from the police.  I finally got to sleep at 5am, woke again at 6.30am, gave in and got up.  At 7.30am whilst making a mug of tea to help down the paracetamol to relieve my headache, a taxi pulled up to collect 3 girls who fell out of the house whooping and taking selfies on their phones.  Its obvious that at least 8 were at the party and 6 slept overnight.  I despair....she is a bully and cares for no one but herself.  Her baby daughter spends more time out of the house than in it too.

The gloves are off.  I intend to keep reporting her now until something is done.  Her behaviour is anti social and affecting our health at this point.

What worries me now too is how she is treating her baby daughter. Is she safe?

Sorry for such a downbeat post but I needed to get it off my chest.

Stay safe everyone x

Friday, 23 April 2021

That's More Like Me ๐Ÿ˜Š

From this..... 


To this..... 

Now that's more like me ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜

Yes, yesterday afternoon I got my hair cut at last. Our daughter's friend is a hairdresser who works from home and although she is rushed off her feet at the moment, she fitted me in. I feel like a new woman ๐Ÿ˜ She only asked for £14 but I gave her £20 because that's what I had been paying the hairdresser in the village and I was so grateful to have it cut. She's a lovely person too ๐Ÿค— There was only one customer at a time and she sanitised everything before I sat down. She's also doing a Covid test on herself every other day so I felt very safe. I've booked again for 7 weeks time. 

A big thank you to everyone for your comments and good wishes on my last post.  I'm still in pain but the warm weather is helping a little and your good wishes warm my heart ❤️ I have a new follower too. I can't tell who you are but welcome to my ramblings ๐Ÿ˜Š 

Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Second Jab Day

 Yesterday dawned bright and sunny, and saw us queuing in the sunshine to get our second Pfizer vaccination. 20 minutes later we were back in the car and tootling off to the local park to meet our daughter for a good walk and a coffee. I'm still struggling with hip and back pain so the walk was shorter and less vigorous than I would have liked but the sun and fresh air were so good. DD has now more or less recovered from the reaction to her first jab, apart from sudden bouts of tiredness and a bit of a sore arm still. During the night I found that rolling onto my left arm was painful and woke me up. This morning I have a bit of redness and a lump where the needle went in but nothing really to complain about.

 I've had my first foray into a couple of charity shops! The shelves were unusually empty but I did find a book for £1

I read two of her other books set in Greece ages ago so I'm hoping this one will be good too. 

Today is much cooler and a bit wet. Both the garden and the allotment will benefit from the rain as its been a really dry month so far. The food shopping is being delivered this afternoon so it will be a day of pottering, I think.

Enjoy your day too, and stay safe wherever in the world you happen to be x

Sunday, 18 April 2021

Testing, Testing!

Now that we are edging towards a little normality at last, I thought it sensible to take up the offer of the free government lateral flow test kits for Covid-19.  We intend to see as much of DD and the grandchildren as we are allowed and are desperate to keep them safe.  I ordered the kits online and they arrived in the post within 24 hours.  To be fair, the first one was a bit of a faff but the second one (done this morning) was a bit easier now that I know what I'm supposed to be doing.  The instruction booklet is quite clear and easy to understand.......

Thankfully,  one line indicates it's a negative result so we are going over to see them this afternoon to enjoy a barbecue in the garden ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Have you tried one of these tests yet?  How did you manage?

On Friday our daughter, who is 46, received her Covid jab.  The same night she developed a headache, aches and pains, chills, fever and nausea which made absolutely sure that she had very little sleep at all ๐Ÿ˜จ  Yesterday saw her feeling very under the weather but I've spoken to her this morning and she is starting to feel better.  She cat napped on Saturday afternoon and slept better last night.  Her headache has virtually gone too.  She was given the Astra Zeneca vaccine and I think she has been unlucky to feel so rotten but, apparently, younger people feel the effects more.  It's something to do with a better immune system response.  I really hope she continues to feel better as today progresses.  Son-in Law is cooking on the barbie and we are having salad with it so she can sit back and relax.  I'm taking some cup cakes for afters too.  Fingers crossed that the sun stays out! 

My current book from the library is this one...

I think someone on here reviewed it (possibly Sue from A Smaller and Simpler Life?) and I'm finding it very interesting.  I do, however, find it a bit hard to understand how a Vegan can suddenly decide to kill and eat animals and fish; one one occasion eat raw fish ๐Ÿ‘€ I suppose hunger makes you do things you wouldn't normally dream of doing.  The use of technology is absolutely everywhere in our daily lives and I know I would struggle to do without much of it.  I could probably manage without the internet at a push but without a mobile phone to contact DD? without gas or electricity for heat and cooking? without mains water? A composting toilet doesn't appeal either!

What would you be most hard pressed to do without?

Anyway, that's all for now folks.  Stay safe wherever in the world you happen to be x

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Hip Pain Corner & Making The Best of It

Thank you to everyone who commented on my last post.  It seems that so many people are suffering back and hip pain at the moment, in fact suffering pain per se.  I think Rambler hit the nail right on the head by saying that the year of inactivity has weakened our muscles to the point of causing us physical problems.  My heart goes out to all of you who are in pain and distress.  You are not alone. Take heart. Sending healing hugs to you all.

My GP rang me yesterday within 30 minutes of the allotted time.  It was so weird trying to explain over the telephone exactly where my pain is ๐Ÿค” I explained that I have had it for more than 6 weeks and am unsure what triggered it or how to ease it.  She said that it's probably not arthritis if it came on quickly but is more likely to be tendon damage.  She didn't want to authorise an x-ray unless I've had a fall ( I havent) so the conclusion was to carry on with the Ibuprofen and Paracetamol combined and "see how it goes", in other words "just get on with life and put up with it " ๐Ÿ™„  Time will tell....

On Sunday I suddenly remembered that I needed fuel in the car.  The gauge has been on red for some time so I drove to the petrol station, topped up and paid the princely sum of £2.99 for a basic car wash too.  There was no way I could wash it myself right now so it felt like money well spent.  Afterwards, I popped in the supermarket for some cake and spotted these at bargain prices.  No standing baking.... Job done! ๐Ÿ˜‰

We couldn't make up our minds what to do today. It was quite mild and sunny so on the spur of the moment popped to our local hostelry for a drink.  G enjoyed his first lockdown-easing pint....

I might be on painkillers but thought 'to heck with it' and enjoyed a cheeky glass of rose anyway.

I'm booked in for a haircut on Thursday next week.  Not before time you might say ๐Ÿ˜‰ 

Anyway, thanks for popping in and stay safe and well wherever in the world you happen to be x

Sunday, 11 April 2021

The Reason I've been AWOL

I know it's been a while since I posted properly but I have been 'in the wars' again ๐Ÿ˜ 

For several weeks now, I have been developing pain in my hip and lower back which I'm sure, in part, is due to being so inactive over the last year.  I have been struggling to walk far or to get up from a sitting position, and the pain has been excruciating.  I rang the GP's surgery for advice and was given a telephone appointment with a GP for Monday 12th April.  I actually made the enquiry on 30th March so the appointment was almost 2 weeks away.  In desperation, I steeled myself to visit the pharmacy in the local supermarket and was given the advice to take Ibuprofen and Paracetamol in combination.  Now, I didn't think you were supposed to do that, especially with my IBS problem (now under control, thankfully) but desperate times call for desperate measures so they say.  The pain is a little easier but it certainly hasn't gone.  I have no idea whether or not the GP can help tomorrow.  Time will tell....

What strange weather we are having again.  On Good Friday our daughter and her family came to visit us in the garden.  At first it was cold and windy so we all wrapped up in warm coats and scarves and sat (well spaced) in the garden.  It gave me such a lovely warm feeling to see and speak to them all and have a 'proper' conversation between the 6 of us instead of a 'bitty' one via video link.  By 1pm it had warmed up somewhat so DD drove to the local chippie and bought us fish and chips as well as pies for the boys which she shared out onto plates for us all.  It was the best day G and I have had since Christmas Day.  The family went home around 3pm and it was at that point that the sun broke through (typical!) so G and I stayed in the garden, sitting in the sun wearing short sleeves and drinking mugs of tea...bliss.

This morning I woke at 8am and found it was snowing.  Strange weather....

The allotment is beginning to show signs of  glorious growth.  We have picked the first of the forced rhubarb and G has sown:

Peas, broad beans, radishes, lettuce and planted some potatoes. The raspberry canes, blackberry bush and grape vine are all putting on spurts of greenery as well as the two apple trees.  I love to see signs of new growth, hope for the future.

We were so sorry to hear of the death of Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh,  but he has had a good life and done wonderful things for our young folk with his Award scheme.  I respected him for his plain speaking too. Rest in Peace.

What I thought was wrong was the BBC removing all their usual programmes from around 4.30pm onwards on 3 channels in order to give coverage to the Royal story.  If people were not depressed at the outset, they certainly would be at the end of watching the story all evening. Gardener's World is our favourite prog on a Friday and was sorely missed.  It was shown last night instead and we only just realised in time to watch it ๐Ÿ˜ก 

My hip is hurting now after sitting to write this so I'll sign off.

Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x

Saturday, 3 April 2021

Happy Easter!

Wishing everyone a very happy, healthy Easter.


Enjoy your weekend and I'll be back very soon. 

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

On Penguins, Hospital Mix=ups and Empty Fridges

I had another hospital appointment come through for Monday.  I received two identical letters on Saturday as well as a text message.  I tried to phone through to clarify whether it was for my skin cancer removal or for something else, to no avail.  The lines were constantly busy and I had to give up.  I turned up for my 10.20am appointment with some trepidation, was called through early only to discover that the consultant was no wiser than I was regarding why I had been sent for.  He thought I had requested to see him regarding a problem with a procedure undertaken 5 weeks previously!  We both sighed in exasperation and I was back home by 10.30am ๐Ÿ˜ท What a waste of money....

G and I decided to take the opportunity to have a walk at Himley Park.  I'm so glad we did.  Someone has left an artwork of a penguin painted on clingfilm wrapped around two tree trunks by the waterfall.  Isn't he beautiful!  The artist is on Instagram it seems but don't use it ......Thank you @Mr_SGE ....

The snowdrops at Himley Hall have now all been replaced by daffodils. they are everywhere and look absolutely gorgeous.  The air was cold but invigorating so we bought coffees to drink in the car after our walk and felt so much better afterwards...... 

Today G has gone to the allotment to put in some potatoes and I've collected my 'click and collect' book from the library.  It's called The Salt Path by Raynor Winn and I'm really looking forward to reading it.  I must, however, first finish reading my kindle book: Mum & Dad by Joanna Trollope.  I'm not good at reading 2 books at the same time, I'll get the characters mixed up!

The home delivery of shopping is coming this afternoon and not before time, I think.... ๐Ÿ˜‚

Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x

Saturday, 13 March 2021

What Is Going On? And The Dentist...

 Is anyone else having trouble commenting on blogs here?  I've left several comments over the last few days which have bounced back as 'undeliverable message' .... what?  Sue from A Smaller and Simpler Life, I'm not ignoring your lovely blog posts, I am being stopped from commenting!   I don't know what has changed but it's very frustrating....

Anyway, thank you all for your comments and suggestions regarding what to add to the list of experiences and life skills for kids.  There are some absolutely fab additions ๐Ÿ˜€

This week has been a funny old week.  The weather has thrown everything at us, including hail on Thursday, as well as very high winds which saw us laying everything flat in the garden and tying down lids and things.  Touch wood, everything survived (so far!)

Wednesday saw me at the dental surgery getting my broken tooth sorted.  What a palaver.  I was incredibly nervous of  going in and wasn't helped by a woman who came in after me, refused to wash her hands or wear a mask and then sat in the waiting area with me and another woman calmly licking her fingers and dusting imaginary marks off her trousers with her damp fingers.  I despair of the total lack of respect for the staff and other people.  Anyway, I had to pay £65.20 even before the dentist had seen me ๐Ÿ‘€ but this was because, apparently, you go out of the building a different way to the one you come in by (and don't pass GO or collect £200 ๐Ÿ˜…)  Luckily he was my usual dentist.  He said my tooth could be repaired and gave me a numbing injection.  While that was working he did a scale and full examination, then built up my tooth to a functional (if not cosmetically pretty) size, then gave my teeth a polish.  They look much better.  He did say that if the repair doesn't hold there is enough tooth left to fit a crown onto. The cost would be over £282 so I'm hoping it won't come to that.

I feel a bit blurgh and tearful this morning.  I didn't sleep soundly and G tootled off to work at 7am so I was wide awake by then after the breakfast noises, but I think it's partly because tomorrow is Mothering Sunday and I can't see my family.  Lovely DD dropped a package off at the door yesterday containing some beautiful tulips, a mini bottle of Prosecco and some chocolates as well as 2 cards, so I mustn't let it get to me.  It won't be too long before we can all meet up in the garden again.  AND the sun is now trying to break through.  I'm going to make porridge then have my shower.  That should get me going.

What are your plans for the weekend?

Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x

PS Please remember that I'm not ghosting you....Blogger is blocking my comments!

Monday, 8 March 2021

What Kids Need To Know


With the start of lockdown-easing today, children are going back to school at last.  It has been a whole year since the Grandchildren picked up their folders, collected their bags and went home for the duration.  It got me thinking about what kids need to know, what to learn on a daily basis and what to do while they are young and carefree.  I came up with the following:

  • Play outside and get dirty
  • Play a sport
  • Learn to swim
  • Ride a bike or scooter
  • Learn to  roller skate
  • Go to a pantomime
  • Visit the cinema
  • See a play at the theatre
  • Craft something eg paint, cut, stick, colouring books
  • Feed the ducks
  • Learn to recognise the birds visiting the garden
  • Visit the seaside
  • Visit the countryside

Life Skills

  • Handling money, budgeting and saving
  • Ironing simple things
  • Washing up
  • Simple cooking eg beans on toast, a boiled egg, a baked potato
  • Make a cake and lick the bowl!
  • Make a cup of tea
  • Make a sandwich
The list is endless.  All of the above were achieved by our Grandchildren (now 13 and 16 yrs old) either by being taught by their mum or by me.  I took our Granddaughter to the theatre when she was 3 yrs old and she was so enthralled by musical theatre that she learned to dance, has become a Champion Dancer and holds maybe a hundred trophies.  Our Grandson is a brilliant footballer too, often gaining the 'Man of the Match' trophy.  Everything has, obviously, been curtailed during the pandemic but they are looking forward to returning to normality as soon as possible.

What would you add to the list?  What did you teach your own kids or what did your mum teach you that has turned out to be invaluable in life?

Thanks so much for popping in and stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x

Thursday, 4 March 2021

I Dreaded This Very Thing...

 My regular dental checkup in September last year was cancelled due to Covid-19 and I have absolutely dreaded either of us having a problem with our teeth during lockdown .  Well, yesterday the worst happened and a tooth broke in half whilst eating my lunchtime sarnie.  I promptly rang the surgery to request an emergency appointment and they can fit me in next TUESDAY afternoon, so I will have to suffer for almost a week before I can be seen, let alone have the tooth treated.  I really hope they can save the tooth because, after G's horrendous experience of an extraction (and a dry socket) a couple of years ago, I am petrified of having it removed under local anaesthetic ๐Ÿ‘€  It will be costly but I would rather my regular dentist try to save it.  Fingers crossed that he can.... Meanwhile it's soft food only and try to chew on the other side ๐Ÿ˜

It's such a struggle to get anything treated right now, isn't it.  Has anyone else had a similar problem?

Thanks for popping in and stay safe, my friends, wherever in the world you happen to be x

Tuesday, 2 March 2021

A Plan Thwarted & a Chuckle

 After all my efforts over the last week or so to reduce our electricity consumption, I came downstairs this morning to find that G, who came to bed after me, had left the sitting room light on ALL NIGHT ๐Ÿ˜’ Well, that's wiped out any savings right away...grrr....

In the post this morning were 2 energy statements from British Gas: one gas, one electricity.  Fair enough you might say, but we also received one last Friday for electricity following my submitting a reading, as requested.  Today's bill is estimated for 3 days useage.  Why? Especially as we have been getting paperless billing over the last 12 months.  The cost of admin must be rocketing and will be passed on to the consumer I'm sure.  I despair.....

I couldn't resist chuckling at this sign which my nephew posted on social media though, it says it all ๐Ÿ˜‚

I was, however, quite disappointed to find that Ernie hasn't drawn any of my premium bond numbers again this month.

I live in hope! ๐Ÿ˜‰

The sun is just beginning to emerge so I'm off to open some windows and tackle the ironing.

Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x

Thursday, 25 February 2021

On Screws & Charity Bags

Yesterday started off quite wet and windy, but by afternoon things had improved enough for G to get into the garden.  He's bought a self assembly cold frame/greenhouse type kit and I was glad to usher him outside to construct it and to leave me in peace ๐Ÿ˜Š  After a while, I was observing his efforts through the window and saw a small plastic packet fall from the patio table to the ground so I shouted "is there anything important in that packet? It just blew off the table".  "Yes" G replied "the screws".  At that point another gust of wind skittered the packet across the lawn to the end of the garden and by the time he had sauntered over and picked it up, guess how many screws were left?  That's correct...NONE! It took me almost half an hour to locate about half of the dozen or so missing screws.  G couldn't find a single one. Men!   Why were they not in his pocket? ๐Ÿ˜ We'll be finding them on the lawn for months....

Anyway, Spring is almost here.  My tete-a-tete daffodils are showing their pretty little heads.  The pot is far too big to show them off properly but it was the only one we had available at the time....

Today the weather is gorgeous.  I put G's tatty old gardening jacket into the machine first thing this morning and then pegged it out in the sunshine.  It's virtually dry.  I'll do mine tomorrow if it's sunny again.

Since we moved, over a year ago, the delivery of charity bags through the letterbox has been non-existent for obvious reasons.  Neither have the charity shops been open and so I have been popping odd unwanted items into a carrier bag in the wardrobe.  Today we received this.....

I have until Sunday evening to have a bit of a sort out and get rid of some unwanted items to a good cause so that's my task for the next few days.  I would imagine that charities have lost an awful lot of revenue due to Covid and they will be gearing up to reopen at some point soon.  Do you get these collection bags in your area?

Thank you everyone for your comments on my haircut post.  They brought a smile and sometimes an outright chuckle too.

Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

The Cost of No Haircuts !

I usually get my hair cut every 7 weeks at a local hair salon, costing £19 for a shampoo, cut and finish.  The very last time I was able to go the cost had been increased to £21, presumably to make up for revenue lost during lockdown and subsequent social distancing measures.  Anyway, by now I would have just had my second trim of the year.  I have saved £42 plus tips but IT SHOWS!!

This is me today......

And this is how I like to look!  Spot the difference......

I can't wait to get it trimmed but dare not tackle it myself.  Perhaps I should ask  my daughter to get the clippers on it once we can meet up in the garden.  After all, she's been trimming her son's and hubby's hair all through lockdown ๐Ÿ˜ท

Have you trimmed your own  hair? How did it turn out?

Thanks so much for popping in and commenting.   Stay safe wherever in the world you happen to be x


Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Finances & Bargain Renewal

 Gosh, we're almost at the end of yet another month and time to check the finances.

My car insurance is due in the middle of next month so I listened to Martin Lewis ๐Ÿ˜€ and searched via a price comparison website for a new policy.  Last year I paid £229.98 and although the renewal came in lower at £203.56 the comparison site came back with a quote of £160.16 including protected no claims discount (which I didn't have before) so it was, as they say a "no-brainer" to go with the new, well known, company.  They sent out the documents within a couple of days too which is impressive.  The last company was online only so a bit trickier to get the documents. Anyway, I'm very happy with the price and I can travel 3000 miles in the coming year! That's a laugh isn't it ๐Ÿ˜‚  I wish....

I've checked the gas & electricity accounts and we are on track with our monthly DD payments of £36 for electricity and £15.66 for Gas but I want to ensure we don't waste any electricity as that account is close to the wire, as it were, with a predicted mere 20p credit balance at the end of the plan.  I fixed the new tariff for 2 years (again thanks to Martin Lewis) so we know roughly what we will have to pay in coming months but we need to be aware of wasting electricity so .....

1) Ceiling lights off and table lamp on in the evening

2) The Humax box will be turned off until needed rather than left on standby

3) Mobile phones and tablets to be unplugged as soon as charged (and not left on all night G!!) 

4) Don't overfill the kettle for 2 mugs of tea G ! And don't switch it on at all if you don't intend to drink said mug of tea ๐Ÿ˜’

Do you have any tips for saving on electricity please?

The Council Tax bills will be dropping onto the mat soon. According to the internet the rates are increasing to a higher level than last year but I'm not too worried about it as I've allowed an uplift of 5% in the budget for 2021.


There was no party again next door this weekend...hooray!....๐Ÿ˜€  It was absolute bliss so I think she had gone out again.  Long may it continue....

The biggie yesterday was Boris's announcement of the 'road map' out of lockdown with schools to reopen on 8th March  ( I can hear all the mums cheering!) and I will actually be able to meet our Daughter in an outside space for coffee together from the same date.  I can't wait....๐Ÿ˜‚

Unfortunately there will be no haircut until at least 15th April and it depends on Covid numbers falling at the expected rate.  It's all down to behaviour folks ๐Ÿ‘€ My hair needs a tidy up!

Thanks so much for popping in. Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Nectar Bonus & Fancy Food

 Well I said I wouldn't bore you with details of my shopping but I'm excited!  I found that I had accumulated over £40 worth of Nectar points with my online deliveries and have now worked out how to spend them on my next food order.  The result is that I have received £77.14 worth of shopping and only paid £35.89 which helps the food budget enormously.  I even let G have 2 bottles of beer and some chocolate ๐Ÿ˜‚ so he's a happy bunny!  Really pleased about that.... 

More good news is that there was NO PARTY this weekend ๐Ÿ‘  Someone arrived around 7pm on Friday evening to pick Young Neighbour up and off they went until I was woken by the door slamming at 3.35am.  She obviously went to bother someone else instead of us.......

When we had the heavy snow a couple of weeks ago, Young Neighbour made a lovely little snowman on the front lawn together with her baby daughter and used sprouts for eyes and buttons, and a carrot nose.  A few days later the snowman melted and the veg has been lying on the lawn rotting away nicely ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜’ As the rubbish was being collected yesterday,  I picked them up (they really were rotting) and put them in the bin for collection.  I would rather she moaned at me than attract rats.

Would you have picked them up?

Thank you everyone, once again, for your comments on my last post.  I do appreciate it.

This morning we fancied an M & S meal deal as we haven't had one for months and seem to be eating the same meals in the same pattern each week ๐Ÿ‘€  I drove and G went in on his own to do a recce, then I went in and did the shopping. It was a bit too busy for comfort so I hurried up (no browsing) We now have butternut squash en croute, dauphinoise potatoes and an apple crumble for pudding.  I picked up a nice bottle of French Merlot too which was on offer for £5 instead of £7 and as I had a £2 voucher it actually cost just £3.  I'm looking forward to an easy cook meal tonight!

I don't know about you but I seem to ache all over lately and this morning I reached for the squeegee to clean the shower screen after my shower and pulled a muscle in my back.  Ouch!  I think I have been so inactive for so long that it's telling on me so, when we returned from M & S, we went for a walk around the estate. Boy, the homes are shooting up!  The site looks as though it will be complete by the end of this year, failing any more catastrophies.  I'm glad we bought when we did though because the homes at the rear of the estate are right next to some big industrial units and there are lots of cul-de-sacs which will be used by the kids to play ball games in, I'm sure.

The weather is quite mild today so G is now in the garden sorting out the freshly delivered strawberry plants and pruning the rose tubs.  AND the windows are OPEN!

What's the weather like where you are?

Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x

Friday, 12 February 2021

A Touch of Nostalgia

 My nephew will soon be 40 years old and I have bought him a special card (he doesn't read my blog!)  which lists all the special things that happened during the year he was born :1981  By golly what a nostalgia trip!

It was the year the first London Marathon was held, the very first episode of Only Fools And Horses was broadcast and a colour TV licence went up from £34 to £46 will cost £159 this year ๐Ÿ‘€  In addition severe snow storms hit the UK with the lowest temperature ever recorded in December since 1874 and the heaviest snow since 1878.  And there was no such thing as Global Warming then ⛄⛄⛄⛄  If you click on the photo above you might be able to expand it to read.  It's quite fascinating....

Changing the subject entirely,  a big thank you to all who left comments on my last post.  I'm always grateful to have the sensible opinions of others and, in this case, the overwhelming feeling is that I should report my Covidiot of a neighbour if she has yet another party.  The good news is that I feel a good deal better than I did in the early part of the week but the bad news is that Neighbour's Grandmother has collected the child this morning so the question remains:

Will there be a party tonight and/or tomorrow?๐Ÿ˜

I have checked and found that she can be reported online ( they don't want telephone reports in this area) at the time the party is in full swing.  If we are kept awake again this weekend The Gloves Are Off!  My patience is running out......

It's freezing again outside today although the garden does look delightful in the sunshine.  G has wrapped up like an arctic explorer and gone out for his walk to try to ease the pain in his neck (he's still awaiting an MRI scan on his head, neck and spine) but I can't face going out.  I think I'll tackle the ironing instead.  Things must be bad ๐Ÿ˜‚

Have a great weekend everyone and stay safe wherever in the world you happen to be x

Tuesday, 9 February 2021

What Would You Do?

It snowed again during the night!  I awoke at 6.05am, looked  through the window and quickley snuggled back under the duvet ☺  Snow is now still falling in big, fat, soft white flakes so I don't think I will even attempt a walk today.  I can't risk falling.

Yesterday, I underwent a long awaited hospital procedure.   Luckily, I received the letter on Saturday afternoon otherwise I wouldn't have known and would have missed the appointment.  I say "luckily" because it only gave me a short time to worry about it ๐Ÿ˜ฌ In addition, we were both kept awake both on Friday  and Saturday night by our young neighbour having loads of visitors and partying until the early hours.  She has broken the covid rules all along and it has got worse since her boyfriend left during the summer.  She has a young daughter, not quite 2 yrs old, and I can only assume that her grandmother (the child's great grandmother ) has her for the weekends.  There would be no way that a child could sleep amid all the noise.  We hear the front and rear doors constantly banging, cars doors slamming, loud voices talking, squealing and laughter outside which carries on until 4am.  G and I were both exhausted on Sunday morning after 2 nights lack of sleep.  Its no use speaking to her about it as we discovered in the summer. As soon as her boyfriend left the noise increased. At one point on Saturday/Sunday there were 3 vehicles parked up outside, not including her Nan, who is in her childcare "bubble" ๐Ÿ˜ก 

She just increases the hurt the rest of us feel in not seeing our families too.  All the other neighbours toe the line.

I'm in pain from my procedure right now ๐Ÿ˜ซ  so if the same  happens again this weekend my patience might just snap and I'll report her.  No wonder the infection rates are so high in the area. I've put up with this ever since first lockdown in March.

I don't want to be mean but would you report her?

PS I'm still waiting for my skin cancer to be treated ...

And I want to thank everyone for the comments on my last post.  I hope all your vaccinations went well.

Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x 

Friday, 5 February 2021

We Have Been Jabbed!


photo from Google

On Wednesday morning G and I had our Covid-19 vaccine which turned out to be a totally well organized and fuss free procedure.  We were directed straight in by a lovely smiling (despite her mask!) lady and given the Pfizer vaccine, once more asking our consent to give it.  Then 15 minutes sitting on a chair in a well ventilated and well spaced area just to check there were no immediate ill effects and then off home.  I can honestly say, hand on heart, that it was virtually painless and we have had no side effects whatsoever other than an expected bit of tenderness in the muscle of the upper arm where the needle went in.  This lasted from Wednesday evening until Thursday afternoon then disappeared. Our booster will be given in approximately 12 weeks and we were given a small card with the details of the batch number etc of the vaccine we had been given. 

Changing the subject entirely....thank you to all the people who commented on my last 2 posts.  I do read all comments but just haven't got around to responding.  I appreciate each and every comment ๐Ÿ˜€

As we're into a new month, I did a roundup of the food shopping bill for January. Thankfully, I managed to pull back the spending so that the total for the month is well within budget....

2021 Food Spend to date:

January  £46.35    £93.27   £142.65   £192.58 total 

I don't want to bore you rigid with a blow by blow account of my food spending so I'll leave it at that unless there is something monumental (like massive savings) to report!  I'm still going to reign it all in whilst keeping a decent store cupboard in case of shortages in the long term.

Have you noticed shortages in the supermarket?  My online shop had no decent muesli (the basic one sent was merely dust ๐Ÿ˜) and the tinned rice was substituted with a low fat version.  Both items were sent back for a refund and I've been given a substitution voucher for £1.25 which I can take off the cost of my next delivery on Wednesday 10th. Oh and there were no Birds Eye Peas!   Having said that, I'm incredibly grateful for online deliveries still.  I really can't imagine a time when I will be comfortable pushing a trolley around the supermarket ever again.   Ilona from Life Without Money visits Aldi at 8.30pm to do her shopping.  I might try the same at some point....

Anyway, that's all I have to say for now as I'm off to make hot dogs with fried onions for lunch ๐Ÿ˜œ

Nut roast and lots of veggies with gravy for tea too ๐Ÿ˜

Stay safe, my friends, wherever in the world you happen to be x

September Already?

 September already and the beginning of Autumn.  How did that happen? This year, the same as last, has flown by in a flurry of inactivity!  ...